The worst kept secret of our current era is the global warming. Whether it's man made or god made or what, shouldn't matter for the discussion. I'll try to discuss why we are due to big changes in the wine business and by how much they'll affect us.
The enormous fire in california can be blamed on my things: Recklessness like the one that started early on in washington or oregon from a moron teenager who horsed around with fireworks, commercial forest density (more packed trees per area), occasional rough weather, permanent rough weather/climate and pests attacking trees, and urban development closing in on forests.
Some industries like wine and bourbon compete for the same material. Anerican oak. In the bourbon case some protected denominations demand the use of 100% new oak.
The new order of affairs in the northern american forests is as follows:
1. trees being decimated by beetles that ought to hibernate and or get killed off in winter. It turns out mellower winters are the reason behind those beetles are rampant and unchecked across north america. And why not before long they'll be all over europe.
2. These dry, depleted and ready to burn trees as a result of severe drought or beetles/insects attack will burn!
As the demand for oak remains steady or greater (including the bourbon rule) someone will have to give in. Either the wine industry will have to come to grips with the dearer prices and transfer that onto the consumer or they will have to accept the available technology that can emulate the use of oak in wine. Micro-oxigenation, chips, ground wood... or even plastic barrels that can do part of the trick. Different from today when many mid-range wines bask in oak, only the high end stuff would enjoy doing time in wood.
I am easily beginning to accept that technology isn't obscene and can make outstanding wines. I wonder how many botched vintages will take in europe until the regulatory authorities flex rules.
Just wanted to refrain from saying things about sugar, hot climate, alcohol that have been spoken about for decades. That'd be too boring and pretentious.
It's a new world out there. Brace and prepare and soothe the collapse.